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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Your Word For The Day: Grotty

First off, the euro is up and PIIGS bond yields are down on rumors. The rumors start with a report from "G20 sources" that deputy finance ministers from the G20 nations had discussed the terrible European situation in a conference call on Monday. This, combined with the US Treasury announcing it would send someone to Europe to discuss the EU's pending economic collapse with governments in Berlin, Madrid and Paris[1], has naturally (obviously) led to the conclusion that the European Central Bank will calm the situation by massively increasing their purchases of European sovereign debt.

Jim Cramer, in his lucid days, said that "tips are for waiters". Keep that in mind, until the ECB actually says it will do something.

The European rumors and good factory data out of China (specifically, their Purchasing Managers' Index hit a 7-month high of 55.2) seem to be driving the futures up. There are a few bits of domestic news that could hinder the joyous rumor-driven market frenzy, however.

First off, the Fed is going to have to release details about the emergency loans they handed out during the 2007-2009 market collapse. You remember those, right? The massive bailouts of AIG, and Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley, and Merrill Lynch, and Lehman Brothers...

Oh, wait. That's right. They didn't bail out Lehman Bros. The people who are really excited about the release of the data are curious to see why they didn't get bailed out. Also, most analysts are expecting the data to be disclosed in a less-than-helpful fashion. Or, as Christopher Whalen (managing director at Institutional Risk Analytics) puts it: "My sense is they're going to give us the disclosure in the same grotty fashion (as before). It's not going to be well organized so you'll have to sort through it."[2]

Imagine that. The Fed might not want people to figure out what they're doing. Shocking. Shocking, I say.

Second, Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. has released a report that employers announced 48,711 job cuts in November, up 28% from the 37,986 job cuts in October. In what passes for good news, this is still down 3.3% from the job cuts announced a year ago in November. But hey, they're being offset by plans to add 15,900 seasonal employees in the retail sector and 500 in the transportation sector last month. {3]

[1] Because the US is obviously in a position to explain to other nations how to bring their economic problems under control, and to explain how to implement austerity measures.
[2] Grotty. Adjective. seedy, wretched, dirty
[3] Because temporary seasonal jobs obviously offset the loss of full time permanent jobs. Obviously.

Articles cited:
ECB talk lifts battered euro as crisis worries spread (http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSLDE6AO0HG20101201)
Futures rally on euro bounce, strong Chinese data (http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE69O1D320101201)
Time for Fed to show who crisis loaned benefited (http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6B014S20101201)
48,711 November Job Cuts UP 28% From October (http://www.challengergray.com/press/PressRelease.aspx?PressUid=151)
Short on votes, deficit panel delays decision (http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6AS4Z120101201)

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